1955–56 NCAA men's basketball season

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Season headlines[edit]

  • The Ivy League, which had been formally established as an athletic conference in 1954, played its first basketball season under that name. Previously, Ivy schools had competed in the Eastern Intercollegiate Basketball League; today's Ivy League considers the EIBL as part of its history.

Major rule changes[edit]

Beginning in 1955–56, the following rules changes were implemented:

  • The free-throw lane was increased from 6 feet to 12 feet.
  • The two-shot penalty in the last three minutes of the game was eliminated. The one-and-one became in effect the entire game.[1]

Season outlook[edit]

Pre-season polls[edit]

The top 20 from the AP Poll during the pre-season.[2]

Associated Press
Ranking Team
1 San Francisco
2 Kentucky
3 Utah
4 NC State
5 Iowa
6 Dayton
7 Illinois
9 Duquesne
10 George Washington
11 Holy Cross
12 Marquette
13 Fordham
14 Washington
15 Alabama
16 Indiana
Saint Louis
18 Oregon State
Southern Methodist
20 Kansas

Regular season[edit]

Conference winners and tournaments[edit]

Conference Regular
Season Winner[3]
Player of the Year
Venue (City)
Atlantic Coast Conference North Carolina & NC State Ronnie Shavlik, NC State[4] 1956 ACC Men's Basketball Tournament Reynolds Coliseum
(Raleigh, North Carolina)
NC State
Big Seven Conference Kansas State None selected No Tournament
Big Ten Conference Iowa None Selected No Tournament
Border Conference Texas Tech None Selected No Tournament
Ivy League Dartmouth None Selected No Tournament
Mid-American Conference Marshall None Selected No Tournament
Missouri Valley Conference Houston None Selected No Tournament
Mountain States Conference Utah None Selected No Tournament
Ohio Valley Conference Morehead State, Tennessee Tech & Western Kentucky None Selected No Tournament
Pacific Coast Conference Oregon State None Selected No Tournament
Southeastern Conference Alabama None Selected No Tournament
Southern Conference George Washington & West Virginia Darrell Floyd, Furman[5] 1956 Southern Conference Men's Basketball Tournament Richmond Arena
(Richmond, Virginia)
West Virginia[6]
Southwest Conference Southern Methodist None Selected No Tournament
West Coast Athletic Conference San Francisco Bill Russell, San Francisco[7] No Tournament

Statistical leaders[edit]

Points Per Game
Rebounds Percentage
Field Goal Percentage
Free Throw Percentage
Player[8] School PPG Player School REB% Player School FG% Player School FT%
Darrell Floyd Furman 33.8 Joe Holup G. Washington .256 Joe Holup G. Washington 64.7 Bill Von Weyhe Rhode Island 86.5
Robin Freeman Ohio State 32.9 Charlie Tyra Louisville .235 Hal Greer Marshall 60.1 Jackie Murdock Wake Forest 85.7
Dan Swartz Morehead St. 28.6 Jerry Harper Alabama .232 Odell Johnson St. Mary's (CA) 56.3 Vic Molodet NC State 85.2
Tom Heinsohn Holy Cross 27.4 Bill Russell San Francisco .231 Raymond Downs Texas 54.0 Dick Miani Miami (FL) 83.7
Julius McCoy Michigan St. 27.3 Charlie Slack Marshall .215 Angelo Lombardo Manhattan 53.4 Bob McCarty Virginia 83.2

Post-Season Tournaments[edit]

NCAA Tournament[edit]

Coach Phil Woolpert and his star Bill Russell successfully guided San Francisco to its second consecutive championship, capping an undefeated season. The Dons became the first team in college basketball history to go undefeated and win the NCAA tournament. Temple's Hal Lear was named tournament Most Outstanding Player.

Final Four[edit]

Played at McGaw Hall in Evanston, Illinois

National Semifinals National Championship Game
E Temple 76
ME Iowa 83
ME Iowa 71
W San Francisco 83
W San Francisco 86
  • Third Place – Temple 90, SMU 81

National Invitation Tournament[edit]

Louisville won its first NIT title, defeating Dayton 83–80. Louisville's Charlie Tyra won MVP honors

NIT Semifinals and Final[edit]

Played at Madison Square Garden in New York City

Semifinals Final
Louisville 89
St. Joseph's 79
Louisville 90
Dayton 83
St. Francis (NY) 58
Dayton 89
  • Third Place – St. Joseph's 93, St. Francis (NY) 82

Award winners[edit]

Consensus All-American teams[edit]

Consensus First Team
Player Position Class Team
Robin Freeman G Senior Ohio State
Sihugo Green G Senior Duquesne
Tom Heinsohn F Senior Holy Cross
Bill Russell C Senior San Francisco
Ronnie Shavlik F/C Senior North Carolina State

Consensus Second Team
Player Position Class Team
Bob Burrow F Senior Kentucky
Darrell Floyd G Senior Furman
Rod Hundley G/F Junior West Virginia
K.C. Jones G Senior San Francisco
Willie Naulls F Senior UCLA
Bill Uhl C Senior Dayton

Major player of the year awards[edit]

Major coach of the year awards[edit]

Other major awards[edit]


  1. ^ 2009 NCAA Men's Basketball Records Book – Playing-Rules History section, NCAA, retrieved 2011-04-10
  2. ^ *ESPN College Basketball Encyclopedia: The Complete History of the Men's Game. Random House. 2009. ISBN 0-345-51392-4.
  3. ^ "2009 NCAA Men's Basketball Record Book – Conferences Section" (PDF). NCAA. 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-14.
  4. ^ 2008–09 ACC Men's Basketball Media Guide – Year by Year section, retrieved 2011-04-10
  5. ^ 2008–09 SoCon Men's Basketball Media Guide – Honors Section, Southern Conference, retrieved 2010-08-14
  6. ^ 2008–09 SoCon Men's Basketball Media Guide – Postseason Section, Southern Conference, retrieved 2011-04-10
  7. ^ 2008–09 WCC Men's Basketball Media Guide, West Coast Conference, retrieved 2011-04-10
  8. ^ *Inside Sports College Basketball. Gale Research. 1998. ISBN 1-57859-009-4.